Picayune Police Chief reacts to Tyre Nicolas video

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Picayune Police Chief Joe Quave reacted to the body camera and other video footage released involving the death of Tyre Nichols of Memphis, Tenn.

The Memphis Police Department waited until 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, after school was let out and many stores and businesses were closed — to release the video to the public for fear of violent protests that could follow.

Quave offered his condolences to the Nicolas family and the Memphis community.

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“Just disgusted,” he said after seeing the footage.

“There are so many incidents that have gained a lot of popularity for whatever reason, and we’re left wondering some of the ‘what if’ or ‘what happened’… (with this one) you don’t have to wonder all those things to tell that this isn’t right. People need to know that we (members of the Picayune police department) are appalled, and disgusted.”

Quave posted his reaction on social media the day after the incident “…It makes me madder to no end, knowing that we go out here every day trying to build relationships and form partnerships and then they do that. Not 1 but 5 people couldn’t keep it together. Not 1 but 5 people couldn’t intervene and do the right thing.”

When asked how incidents like this affect the profession of law enforcement nationwide, Quave said that his department can’t change what they’re doing because it can detour and cause a loss of focus in their department.

“We can’t change what we’re doing. I feel like we’re doing the right thing here, and we’re always trying to do the right thing, We can’t let it detour us and lose focus over here. It’s certainly frustrating; it’s very disappointing and disgusting for the profession. It’s far from our city but not far from the profession so for somebody to put a stain on a highly reputable profession it’s an insult to us. Nobody in law enforcement is happy about that.”

According to Memphis report the five Memphis police officers have been fired and were charged on Thursday with various felonies including second-degree murder. Two other Memphis officers and two deputy sheriffs along with three firefighters have been fired following this event.

When asked what the Memphis community should do now, Quave raised the question of the officer’s accountability and what efforts are being made to ensure this incident doesn’t happen again.

“Anytime relationships bust or are broken that’s a big deal and it takes time to fix that. I’d be asking questions,

“‘Is there accountability and how do we make sure this doesn’t happen next time?”